|Dragon Fan Club formed|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
What started off as the Dragon Football Club has expanded to incorporate a broader scope as the Dragon Fan Club to offer support to the youth programs in town that the schools cannot.
After the Dragon Football Club successfully raised funds to bring new equipment to the Holyoke JR/SR High School weight room early in 2013, a group of parents of Dragon athletes saw an opportunity to lend the services of the group to the baseball program as well. After all, many of the kids on the football team also played baseball.
Through the disbanding of the Dragon Football Club, the nonprofit organization Dragon Fan Club was officially born May 1.
“We just wanted to broaden who we support,” organization president Beth Zilla said.
As the Holyoke community wrestlers receive support from the Holyoke Wrestling Club and basketball programs are assisted by the Dragon Hoopsters, the Dragon Fan Club’s creation was to serve the football and baseball organizations in town. Zilla noted that the club is willing to collaborate with other groups in the future as well.
“Our purpose is to help the youth with equipment purchases, meals and apparel,” Zilla said. “Our first major purchase this year is to buy a 6-foot-by-12-foot cargo trailer.”
While the football team will have priority over the trailer to transfer equipment to away games, Zilla also noted how the trailer can be used by the band department and other school programs as needed.
Other uses for funds raised will likely include team camps and travel expenses.
Funds were raised for the trailer through the Methodist Church food stand at the Phillips County Raceway, a group of HHS boys cleaning the water feature at Homesteaders Park as well as the 2nd annual Holyoke Football Golf Tournament that the Dragon Fan Club is sponsoring on Aug. 2.
In total, more than $1,000 has been raised.
Ad space on the trailer will be sold to help raise money. Other fundraising plans for the future include the annual sale of trash bags by the football team at the end of August, a possible kickball tournament put on by the baseball team and the sale of Dragon apparel at a number of home games for different sports throughout the year. This will include the green and gold football scrimmage set for Friday, Aug. 22.
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